1 9 5 5 – 1 9 5 7 (UK)
22 x 15 minute episodes
Charlie Drake and Jack Edwardes starred in this series of 15-minute comedy programmes for kids on ITV which debuted on 30 September 1955.
Every week the clumsy, slap-happy pair tried their hands at different jobs and each week the show began with “Hello, my darlings!” and concluded with the cry of “It’s teeee-time!”
Within weeks, Drake had created two new national catch-phrases, among the young viewers at any rate.
Over the course of 22 episodes, Mick and Montmorency tried their hand at working as chimney sweeps, window cleaners, bakers, grocers, plumbers, laundrymen, stokers, TV aerial fitters, garage hands, sailors, carpenters, zoologists, policemen, house painters, removal men, detectives, locksmiths, secret agents, scientists and more – even joining the Foreign Legion and the Mounties, and trying their hand at repairing the clock on Big Ben. While they rarely covered themselves in glory, they frequently were covered in soot, flour, whitewash or tomato soup.
The first episode was broadcast as Mick and Montmorency with the title then changing to Jobstoppers for the subsequent episodes. The title reverted back after 34 episodes.
TV Fun, the small screen’s answer to Radio Fun, also starred the duo in a full-page comic strip drawn by the comic’s best cartoonist, Reg Parlett.
Drake and Edwardes originally met whilst serving in the RAF but didn’t consider teaming up until years later when they both failed the same Windmill Theatre audition.
But when Edwardes was appointed as entertainment officer at a holiday camp, he promptly booked himself and Drake as the double-act Mick and Montmorency, a clumsy duo in the Laurel and Hardy style, with Charlie Drake taking most of the pratfalls.
During their run, they were spotted by producer Michael Westmore who decided their brand of comedy was ideal for television.
A made-for-television movie called Jim Whittington and His Sealion aired on Boxing Day 1956 and starred Drake as Idle Montmorency and Edwardes as Michaela the Cook, with Jimmy Hanley as Jim Whittington, Rolf Harris as the Demon King and Muriel Young as Alice Fitzwarren.
Jack Edwardes died in October 2001, aged 88. Charlie Drake died in December 2006 after a long and successful career in television, film and the recording industry. He was 81.